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Karine Giboulo: Housewarming

Thu Oct 20, 2022 to May 07, 2023, All Day

Artist Karine Giboulo invites visitors on an intimate journey through a life-size replica of her own living environment. This immersive exhibition is Giboulo’s response to what she, and the rest of the world, have been going through individually and collectively while experiencing the isolation caused by waves of pandemic lockdowns and confinement.

Like guests entering a friend’s home, visitors will progress through the artist’s garden, kitchen, pantry, living room, bathroom, laundry room, bedrooms, and closets, navigating freely through social and intimate spaces. Each room features dioramas composed of miniature figurines made of polymer clay, cleverly populating furniture, appliances, and other common household objects.

Visitors will encounter more than five hundred miniature characters engaged in their daily activities, yet the theatre of their lives is larger and more complex than it appears at first glance. Their juxtaposition with life-size objects blurs the boundary between fiction and reality.

On the kitchen countertop, a line of people, masked and socially distanced, await access to a food bank. In the bedroom, the drawer of a dresser opens to reveal rows of masked factory workers hunched over industrial sewing machines. In the laundry room, a forgotten iron causes a forest fire, forcing animals to flee their natural habitat. In each instance, the stories draw visitors beyond the confines of the home. The artist mobilizes the domestic space to stimulate dialogues on larger social questions, from food insecurity and the environment to consumerism and precarious labour.

While the stories are anchored in current events, they also recount personal, familial, and collective moments of joy and intimate tragedies that have unfolded over the past several year.


Karine Giboulo is a self-taught artist based in Montreal. She has presented more than thirty solo exhibitions, including at the McMichael Canadian Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario and the Musées de la Civilisation du Québec. Her work has been featured in major group exhibitions such as Errance sans retour at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec in 2021-2022 and Joueuses / joueurs, énigmes et jeux d’esprit en art contemporain at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal in 2019. Her work can be found in many public and private collections including the Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and the Royal Bank of Canada.